If you want a way to ensure that you and your family will be taken care of if you ever become disabled, you might have already bought an insurance plan through Unum. While investing in a disability insurance plan is a smart idea that can provide the cushion that you need during periods of financial struggle because of missed time at work, some people are denied their claim through Unum. If you’ve recently made a disability claim to Unum and were denied, there are some steps that you can take to appeal your denial.
Background on Unum
Unum is a leading disability insurance company in both the U.S. and the U.K. It’s based in Chattanooga, TN, and it had a revenue of about $11.59 billion in 2018. Unum provides many insurance services, including life insurance and disability plans. Unfortunately, many disability insurers, such as Unum, deny claims in the hopes that you’ll accept the decision without question. You need to contest denials and delays in your claims to get the benefits that you’re entitled to.
Understanding Disability Insurance from Unum
Unum offers short term disability insurance, long term disability insurance, and individual disability insurance. These types of insurance will help you fill in lost income for short or extended periods of time so that you can continue to live your life and care for your family until you’re better and can return to work.
Unum Short Term Disability Insurance
There are several times when a person will need short term disability insurance. For instance, women who have recently had a child need time to recover. People who have recently had surgery or have another qualifying event will also benefit from short term disability insurance. There are, however, restrictions on which illnesses, surgeries, and injuries are covered. You’ll be able to see which ones are covered by looking at the summary of your plan. When you’re applying for short term benefits, there’s a period of time that must elapse before you’re eligible to collect short term disability insurance. There’s also a maximum number of days that you can collect short term benefits, which will depend on what your employer has set up through Unum.
Long Term Disability Insurance
Some accidents can keep you out of work for months or even years, so you’ll need something more than short term disability insurance. Long term coverage can give you the flexibility and financial support that you need to continue to take care of your family. The amount of time that must pass before you switch from short term disability benefits to long term disability benefits coverage will vary according to the plan that your employer chose. Most often, people make claims for injuries and illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular and joint disorders, and back disorders. You should also know that, even if you’re eligible for long term benefits, you might still receive a lesser amount if you’re receiving benefits from another disability insurance plan or from government benefits.
Individual Disability Insurance
Some policy holders benefit from individual disability insurance because they make enough that they would lose a considerable amount if they couldn’t work. Individual disability insurance offers benefits on top of the short term and long term disability insurance that your employers already provides you. People who rely on bonuses or commission might also find that they have a gap in coverage that individual disability insurance can fill in.
What You Need to Know About Unum Claims
Insurance companies lose money when they have to pay out many types claims, such as claims on life insurance. Disability claims are no different. When disability claims are made, the insurance company prefers to keep the money rather than pay you, so it makes sense when they prefer to deny or delay disability claims. An insurance company knows that there’s a certain percentage of people that will accept the decision without question, so it makes sense to deny a disability claim that doesn’t strictly conform to the guidelines rather than seeking further information from the claimant and looking for ways to provide benefits. Policy holders who have received a disability denial should find a law firm that’s experienced in fighting disability denials and delays.
How to File a Claim
When you want to file a claim with Unum, the first thing you’ll do is log onto your account through the Unum website. First, you’ll need to set up your account, which will include setting up direct deposit for the fastest payouts of your claims. You can also upload necessary documents through your online account.
When it’s time to make a claim, Unum prefers for you to file your claim online because they believe that it’s the quickest way. But you might be able to file over the phone. You’ll need to check with your workplace HR department to find out the appropriate steps. You can also mail or fax a paper copy of your claim, but Unum suggests that you check with your HR department.
What to do if a claim is delayed
If your claim is delayed, you might not receive your benefits until after you’re in a difficult financial situation. One of the reasons that people have disability benefits is to ensure that they are taken care of during the time that they take off of work. If your claim is delayed, you need to take swift action by reaching out to our disability insurance attorneys at Osterhout Berger Disability Law.
What to Do If Unum Denies Your Claim
Denials of disability insurance can be overwhelming when you’re struggling with an illness or injury, so you should reach out to a disability lawyer at Osterhout Berger Disability Law to make sure that you get any benefits that you’re entitled to. Filing an appeal is the first step, but if you miss even a small piece of information, Unum can easily deny your appeal. Our disability benefits attorneys can help ensure that you’re submitting all of the correct paperwork so that you can spend less of your time worrying and more of your time getting well.
There are times when video footage or a second opinion from a doctor of the insurance provider’s choice is used to try to prove that the accident or disability isn’t real. While some insurance providers will try to use any means necessary to deny your claim, many of the tactics don’t hold up in a courtroom. Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help build a case to ensure that you get the disability benefits that are in your policy.
Appealing a Claim That Was Denied by Unum
When you’re going to appeal a long term disability claim with Unum, you’ll need to write an appeal letter. You have 180 days from the time that your claim was denied to write an appeal letter and send it in. Your appeal letter needs to include specifics about why you disagree with the denial. You should also check your policy for other specifics. Typically, someone from Unum will review your appeal of any claim denials within 45 days.
It’s possible for Unum to deny your appeal if you miss even a small amount of information, so you should consult Osterhout Berger Disability Law to ensure that your appeal is complete to give you the best chance of winning your claim.
How Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help
There will be a deadline for your appeal that will be listed in the letter. Do not miss this deadline. If you do, you will be barred from claiming benefits from Unum for your disability in the future. Request a copy of your claim file, and bring your file and your denial notice to the experienced disability team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law. Our experienced attorneys may help you to build the evidence that you need to win your appeal. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.